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Violinist glows in garden spotlight

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Concerts in the Garden

Through July 5

Fort Worth Botanic Garden

All concerts begin at 8:15 p.m.; Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

$21-$26 for lawn tickets; $26-$51 for tables

Parking is $10 (cash only) at Farrington Field, at University Drive and West Lancaster Avenue. Patrons can ride a free shuttle to the Botanic Garden. Shuttle service begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs continuously during each concert.

817-665-6000, www.fwsymphony.org

Next: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Posted 10:00pm on Sunday, Jun. 08, 2014

Young violinist Alexandra Switala joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Andres Franco, for Classical Cowtown — a rare, all-classical program in the orchestra’s Concerts in the Garden series — on Sunday night in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

The Music: Franco and the orchestra opened with Rossini’s rousing overture from Semiramide, before Switala came on to perform German composer Max Bruch’s famous Violin Concerto No. 1. The concert’s second half, which unfortunately began too late to be seen for this review, offered a collection of pulse-raising movements from four Beethoven symphonies.

The Mood: Highly attentive and respectful. While the entertainment in this series can sometimes be treated as a picnic soundtrack to be enjoyed or ignored, the small crowd for this concert (fewer than 600 paying patrons) was there for the music.

Memorable moment: The buckle-your-seat-belts final movement of the Bruch. The 20-year-old Switala displayed great sensitivity and control in the showy and frequently performed concerto’s opening two movements. And then she put the pedal to the metal in the finale. That movement is always an exhilarating dash, but Switala made it a thrill ride that few amusement parks could top. Let us hope this is not the last time we see this native Texan, who currently studies at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, performing with the symphony.

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